1. Welcome, lone traveler from Ashburn!
Here under Champagne region, you will find information about the wines you can find in Champagne.
Champagne is France's most northerly Appellation Contrôlée AOC area, lying 90 miles Northeast of Paris.
All Champagne is sparkling wine. But not all sparkling wine is Champagne. In many countries, the wine known as Champagne can legally only come from the region in France of the same name.
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The soil of Champagne is a unique chalk which lies just below the thin, constantly-fertilized top soil. The cool climate is almost inadequate for grape growing, even in warmer years, dictating the grapes will always be high in acid , not ideal for still wine but perfect for sparkling.
Most Champagne is blended wine, made from a mix of 3 different grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
There are 7 different wine styles:
- Non Vintage is a blend of several vintages to create a uniform house style consumers can count on year after year.
- Vintage Champagne is made from a single vintage and from the best grapes. Not every year is declared as a vintage year and Vintage Champagne is only made if conditions are good enough.
- Prestige is considered as the luxury bottling and only the very best lots are used in the blend. Examples include Perrier-Jouët Fleur de Champagne, Dom Perignon and Roederer's Cristal.
- The Rosé is made by leaving the red skins of the Pinot Noir on the juice for as long as it takes to color it pink, or by blending a small amount of red wine (Pinot Noir generally from Bugey) into the cuvée.
- Blanc de Blancs are made only from the Chardonnay grape, mostly light and delicate in style, though richer, fuller examples are sometimes found.
Coteaux Champenois is bone-dry red or white wine of the region.
- Lastly, the Crémant is a term used to describe France's finest sparkling wines made outside the Champagne region. The most important Crémants come from Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Die, Limoux and Loire.
Next: Loire valley region